So how do others handle the transition from work to retirement. Not picking up the phone, changing the phone number, moving with no forwarding address, learning to say NO?
Semi-retired is not the same as retired. I have promised myself that 2020 will be part time teaching and no new projects, so I will be free to sail long weekends April, May and September, October with longer sails June, July and August.
I am now at the stage where some of my students and those that I mentored early in their career, just as I had mentors early in my career, are mentoring others. That is my ongoing reward.
As some point I expect I will transition from this semi-retired state to fully retired.
Family commitments which I view as a positive, will still limit the duration of multi-week voyages, but maybe I can convince my daughter to let my grandson go for multi-day sails.
While my situation may be from a slightly different perspective due to my age, I think I can offer an opinion. Being retired military I was able to retire young. So most cruisers and travelers I run into are easily 20-25 years senior to me. For them, other than keeping in touch with kids and seeing grandkids, the transition seems pretty straightforward. For me, most of my peers might as well be in a different world. They’re still wrapped up in kids, mortgages and paying off debt. Having said that, I grew up in the “digital age” where I was an early pioneer of doing literally everything online. This has gotten even more so as the years go on. There is literally nothing I can’t do online or on the phone. However, from my experiences, a mail forwarding service is almost a requirement due to license renewals, banks ect. I actually had to close one of my bank accounts because they could not accept that my mail forwarding address was actually my address. (Simple Bank). Bank of America had no issues with this. Like many cruisers I run into, I use St Brendan’s Isle service out of Florida. Highly recommend them.
As far a totally disconnecting, is that what you really want? With social media you can be as alone or as connected as you want to be. My phone literally lives on “do not disturb” and the only time I turn it off is when expecting a call from a parts supplier or someone I’m dealing with for issues that arise. My friends know that if you want to get ahold of me, the only way is to either text me or message me on Instagram. So again, I’m only as “connected” as I want to be. My serene and remote anchorages are never disturbed by a ringing phone. Ever.
I know many cruisers who literally cruise from one luxury marina to the next. They really haven’t left anything behind. Their choice obviously. But I think for many they choose to stay very connected to everything and everyone. Basically what I’m saying is that you yourself choose how far away you want to be from everything you’re talking about leaving behind. You don’t have to choose one or the other. There are times when I spend months alone exploring and anchoring where there are few, if any people. Other times I spend weeks in a port making friends and draining the local breweries.
So back to one of your points, at first it was a little difficult to adjust to “not really having to be anywhere” and the realization that “no, I don’t even have to keep my phone turned on, let alone answer it”. I’m still dealing with some of these things from time to time. I found that I started placing “timelines and schedules” on myself in the absence of them being imposed by others. I’ve had to actively work on reminding myself that I can go and stay anywhere for as long as I like. When I find myself stressing over self imposed schedules, I’ve often just dropped the anchor and spent a few days reading books. After a day or two I do realize that those schedules, self imposed or otherwise, really didn’t matter that much in the first place.